Iconic NYC Radio WBAI Back on Air After Judge's Ruling - NBC New York

Iconic NYC Radio WBAI Back on Air After Judge's Ruling

It's unclear whether the board members who approved to the shutdown will appeal the ruling

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Iconic NYC Radio WBAI Back on Air After Judge's Ruling
    Getty Images

    What to Know

    • WBAI 99.5 FM announced that it was given back control of the station's signal after a judge ruled the shutdown decision as invalid

    • "This is a great win for the people of New York City and local control of our institutions," said Mimi Rosenberg, one of the producers

    • The Pacifica Foundation previously cited "serious and persistent financial losses" that led the firing of all of WBAI staff

    One of New York City's most iconic radio stations came back on air Thursday, exactly one month after the interim executive director of its parent company fired the entire staff.

    Brooklyn-based WBAI 99.5 FM announced that it was given back control of the station's signal after a judge concluded that only one of five Board members of The Pacifica Foundation who were barred from voting on the shutdown actually had conflict of interest.

    The majority of Board members voted three times in October to rescind interim executive director John Vernile's decision to seize control of the station before Judge Melissa Crane ruled it as valid.

    The Pacifica Foundation previously cited "serious and persistent financial losses" that left the station calling on its sister stations to meet payroll and expenses, which eventually led to the shutdown.

    Bloomberg via Getty Images

    "This is a great win for the people of New York City and local control of our institutions," said Mimi Rosenberg, one of the stations' producers who was fired.

    It's unclear whether the minority board members who backed Vernile's plan will appeal Crane's ruling, the station said in a statement.

    The station had been fighting financial difficulties for years, including a multi-million dollar judgment over unpaid rent for its Empire State Building transmitter. 

    WBAI joined Pacifica in 1960 after being donated to the foundation by a philanthropist.

    As of fiscal 2017, the last year for which audited financials are available, the station listed about $263,000 in assets and about $7.5 million in liabilities. 

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android